PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Daisuke Matsuzaka came within four outs of a no-hitter as the Boston Red Sox blanked the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0 on Saturday.
Phillies shortstop Juan Castro ruined Matsuzaka's bid with two out in the eighth inning when his bloop single to left field dropped in just over Marco Scutaro's outstretched glove.
"I know the whole country of Japan hates me," Scutaro told MLB.com. "Sorry, sorry. My bad."
The Japanese right-hander was brilliant through eight innings, striking out five and walking four to improve his record for the season to 3-1.
Relief pitcher Daniel Bard came on in the ninth inning to get the final three outs to complete the one-hitter.
"He was throwing a (heck) of a game," said Castro. I wasn't really looking to hit the ball the other way or pull it or hit it up the middle I was trying to make some contact."
Matsuzaka had been bidding to become only the 19th Red Sox pitcher to record a no-hitter and the first against the Phillies since 1978.
Jon Lester remains the last Red Sox pitcher to complete the feat, no-hitting the Kansas City Royals in 2008.
Matsuzaka's run looked over in the middle of the seventh when Jayson Werth blasted a line drive up the middle.
But Matsuzaka, acting instinctively, helped his own cause stabbing the ball out of the air for the out.
"I saw the ball, so I put my glove out, but I didn't actually think I would make the catch," said Matsuzaka. "It was at that point that my team mates thought maybe I had a chance."
Jeremy Hermida's fourth inning sacrifice fly scored David Ortiz to give Boston a 1-0 lead but the Red Sox did most of their damage in the fifth, scoring four runs.
Ortiz and J.D. Drew both drove in a run before Adrian Beltre doubled to deep center pushing two more across the plate.
(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Patrick Johnston)